Sibling rivalry is real — here’s how to handle it


Kristie Kim

Caitlin (left) and Rorie Stone (right), who are identical twins, stand next to each other outside the D building on Wednesday, April 26.

Kristie Kim, Social Coordinator

Being a sister is a major part of my identity. As much as I love my siblings, though, I also hate them sometimes. 

As we’ve grown up, my relationships with my older brother and twin sister have changed. Naturally, our arguments have progressed as well. For example, fights with my brother went from disagreements about the type of music played in the car to the snarky “I can’t wait to leave” comments. One thing hasn’t changed much, however: my twin sister and I still struggle with the internal battle of comparing our every word and action. 

Although siblings of all ages can compete with one another, those closest in age are most likely to compare between one another. According to Psychology Today, “a small age gap has the benefit of promoting closeness, but it also creates tremendous rivalry and identity problems.” Without a doubt, my sister and I are close, but finding an identity separate from someone who I am so similar to can make me feel trapped.. ‘M constantly trying to act differently from my sister and establish that “I am my own person.”

Over time, I’ve felt a range of emotions towards my sister’s successes — from tears of joy and excitement to tears filled with envy that I quickly wipe away. She is the person I have always found myself comparing myself to. She seemed to be better at every single thing, and I simply felt inferior. I couldn’t seem to keep up with her.

Eventually, I stopped trying as hard at things she was already good at. I stopped chasing her identity, and created my own.

That’s when I felt free. Rather than trying to keep up, I took a step back to analyze who I was as my own person. It made me come to terms with the idea that I have my own traits that make me who I am. 

Don’t get me wrong: Siblings and family are essential in shaping who we become. Rivalry is to be expected, especially for those who tend to be more competitive. However, as we each go off on our own paths into post-high school life, I continue to learn the importance of being myself — but appreciating my siblings while I still have the chance.